One hundred and one women were studied between March 1997 and December 1998, all from the North Paraná Regional University Hospital, Londrina, Paraná State, Brazil. They divided split into 2 groups, Group 1 (n=51) with urine leak, Group 2 (n=50) without. These women were informed about the procedures that would be performed and they signed an informed consent for such evaluation, which was approved by the ethics committee.
Initially a visual evaluation of perineal muscle contraction was performed, and contractions were classified as present or absent. The functional evaluation was performed by touch. The examiner requested the patient to contract the perineal muscles and hold them still against the examiners fingers for more than 5 seconds. In this way muscular contraction was rated from 0 to 4 as described in Table 1. Objective evaluation of pelvic floor muscle strength was performed using a Peritron 9300+ perineometer which measures maximum peak contraction, mean supported contraction (cm H2O) and the duration (seconds) of pelvic floor muscular contraction.
An inflatable vaginal sensor, after been covered with a condom, is introduced through the vagina introitus leaving approximately 1cm outside the vaginal canal. In this way, the area of maximum perineal muscle pressure, which is about 3.5cm of the vaginal introitus, is lined up with the pressure detection area of the vaginal sensor. After introduction, the endovaginal sensor was inflated to 100 cm H2O. The equipment was then zeroed and the patient requested to contract the perineal muscles 3 times maintaining contraction for as long as possible. Peak and mean values, and muscular contraction duration were recorded. After use, the vaginal sensor was sterilized.
Statistical analysis was performed using the Goodman simultaneous confidence intervals for contrasts between multinomial populations, and the nonparametric Mann-Withney test for relationships between the number of micturitions and number of leaks per day 5, 6, 7.
All statistic tests were performed with a 0.05 significance level.